January 7, 2013 Subject:
Forget about the Road Trips release - this AUD will do you just fine, and it's a show worth listening to from tip to toe anyways! For *anyone* who just happens to cruise by this review, wondering if anything from '93 is worth it, stop here, download this show, give yourself three hours, and get back to me...
Set 1 - absolutely solid. The Samson opener delights in taking its time to get revved up, and the Deal closer is, as usual, scorching, just BLISTERING work by Jerry here. In fact, I *may* even like this more than the Playin'!
Set 2 - which brings us to...Playin'. The boys tease us by bending the end of Victim oh-so-slightly, giving us just a taste of what's coming....I can't really know where to begin with this Playin' jam except that I'll proudly stack it up against ANY other Playin' ever performed for sheer musical fireworks - this is a dark, dank, heavy, EVIL jazz 'Ten', reconstituting and dissolving in sheer pulses reminiscent of the Hofheinz '72 show - really see this as a 50-minute jam - the boys don't really wind this jam down so much as end it right as it sails over the cliff - Mickey turns on the Beam pretty quickly and we got ourselves a half-hour of total psychedelic madness over the ashes of that previous destruction - man, oh man!!!! Outrageous!
Corrina emerges from all of this and I actually like Bobby's cool-as-ice tune - here it has a particuarly gritty context after all the band just put us through.
Everything else plays out just fine. But it's that Playin', man - WOW. I'd put it with some of THE best jams I've ever heard the Dead play at any time in their history, it's that good -
June 4, 2010 Subject:
One of the highlights of their final few years
What a great show! Cal Expo was such a fun little venue, especially in May, before the summer heat set in. A beautiful, friendly setting for a night of open and exploratory music.
I think this show is rightly regarded as one of their last great shows. The extended, aggressive Playin' jam manages to find several gears -- spacey and loud yet never dissolving into noise. It's an awesome, bold jam and they really tear it up! It's 15 minutes long and still over too quickly. This was what we came for, why we followed them from venue to venue like so much stoned cattle, lol, just for the chance to get off to something like this live, to hear it and live it and dance to it as it was being invented. It felt so good -- honestly, it was like getting laid for the first time in several years. Tension and release, and this jam had a lot of both. The China Doll that bookends the Playin' Reprise is very earnest, and Jerry plays sweetly in all the right spots, fluidly dancing through the exposed melody lines and singing with a poise and tone that was all too rare those last few years. His voice rises to the music, and it's wonderful and affirming, just like it should be. Given how infrequently that song was played, they really nailed it this night! A fitting cap to a wonderful hour of *REAL* Grateful Dead music. Thanks, boys!
::sigh::...The next night notwithstanding, it was almost all downhill from here...